I’m an author, ghostwriter, occasional event organiser and general chatterbox.
I write books on flourishing in life and business and I help bring out
the book in well-being experts, TV personalities and business leaders
who don't have the time to write a mega manuscript (but can totally see
the benefits of authoring a book and want to get their message out into
I am the author of four of my own books, including a best-selling business start-up guide with a Foreword by Dame Anita Roddick, a how-to book on digital business, a well-being-boosting guide called The Flourish Handbook, and a colouring-book for grown-ups, The Flourish Colouring Book. My fifth, YAY! You're Amazing You, is due to be published in 2016.
I’ve ghostwritten a total of seven books, taking my total tally to 11 books.
I’ve been a professional writer for 10 years and self-employed for 15.
During those years, I have worked alongside leaders in their field, interviewed hundreds of popstars and business personalities and had work published in The Huffington Post, Better Business and Psychologies Magazine, among others. I am also an Ambassador for The Network of Wellbeing.
I also co-founded Climbing Trees with my six year old daughter, which aims to give little girls more choice (because girls like dinosaurs, pirates & robots too). That's our mission.
The Climbing Trees girls characters (see below) also have their own mission: to encourage eco-therapy and outdoor play/learning.
Absolutely all that I do is about helping people to FLOURISH in their life, in business and in childhood; to create new empowering habits.
If I can help just one person feel less “hmpf” and more “yay”; less pessimistic and more appreciative; less hard on themselves and more proud of themselves… then I will feel like I’ve served my purpose and done what I am here to do; to enable flourishing so people can do what they love, love what they do, and better connect with others and the natural world, to live their best possible life.
I want to live in a RESILIENT world where we are better equipped to deal with stress, cope with hardships and make the most of whatever life throws at us, even the heart-wrenching hard stuff.
I want to live in an ACCEPTING world where we have the choice and freedom to be our true whole authentic selves instead of feeling forced to conform to limited definitions which restrict our ability to shine with confidence and flourish.
I was born in Southampton 40 years ago, spent the past 12 years living in a tiny countryside village and currently live in a leafy Hampshire suburb in my dream home. I love trees, friendship and fiorentina pizza. Mmmm. I love stretching out on the sofa with a good book and stretching my legs on daily gratitude walks. I once fell off the stage into the band. I love to read, learn and grow. I also (obvs) adore my daughter, who is my complete and utter sunshine.
It's been a thrilling and eventful journey. Frankly, thankfully, it's been epic.
Thank you for popping along to my little web home.
As a child, I looked up to my incredibly inspirational mum. She had the debilitating disease MS but, despite having plenty to whine about she never complained and constantly smiled.
My mum Denise and dad Roger met when they joined the same pop group and made it through to Melody Maker finals. I found this to be suitably cool and loved them both deeply.
I also loved how passionate my dad was about a) his guitar playing and b) his garden. I noticed a difference in him when he was playing with me or his aforementioned musical / botanical instruments of joy.
Mum once said, 'I may not be able to walk, but I can watch you grow.'
I realised then that how you chose to SEE life and REACT to what is thrown your way really matters in how you get through life and what you get out of it.
I didn't seem to have the immense imaginative talent to write fiction though, so I wrote features instead.
I interviewed lots of people. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things at first. Then successful people - popstars and rockstars for the music magazine site I set up with my other half, then business leaders and a range of inspirational people for business magazines and how-to-start-and-grow-a-business type books.
I learned a lot about achievement and failure and persistence from these others.
But, from myself, I learned resilience.
When I was 17 years old, my darling mum died.
It hit me hard. How could/why would this happen?
Yet, somehow, I summoned my inner strength, picked myself up and I lived.
I realised then that life was short. Hers was. She was 43.
After I'd come up for air and worked through my grief (and turbo-powered teenage angst/guilt/rebellion) I decided that, I actually wanted to make the most of my life.
And so I stopped fopping around and raving on and sorted myself out.
I became my own boss, working from home, walking my dog in between writing features, websites and interviews.
A decade later, after pursuing and succeeding at my own dreams of becoming a free-range-author, I decided I wanted to help others to do the same; to live with intention and optimism; to make the most of their lives; like my mum had done and like my dad had just begun to do.
I decided to study positive psychology – the study of optimal human flourishing.
I wanted to write a book that carved the core pillars of well-being into an easy to read practical guide that could equip people with strategies and habits, whilst taking them on a journey to flourishing step-by-step, month-by-month.
I was drawn to this topic because I had witnessed first hand how different approaches to life can have a huge impact on how we live it and what we get out of it. Life that is.
Despite his love for music and his awe-inspiring gardening, dad found living a strain. He had always found life tough, from childhood until about 8 years ago when he finally found the job of his dreams, dancing on cruise ships. That was when he started to really LIVE his life, finally.
Unlike my disabled yet smiley-faced mum, my able-bodied yet depressed dad struggled with life and with her disability. Mum and dad were polar opposites – my mum was confident and positive, my dad shy and depressed.
That said, dad was one of the nicest and funniest men you'd ever meet.
But also, behind closed doors, one of the saddest.
Just three short weeks after this diagnosis, my dear dad was dead.
I didn’t show him the book as it was about living and he was shockingly about to lose his life. I just told him about it and he was, of course, immensely proud. But I didn’t expect to put the wisdom in that book into practice myself so soon.
Now, as well as penning business books that enable businesses (and thus the economy) to flourish, I also write about resilience and positivity, about gratitude and grace, about purpose and connection.
I recently collaborated on a colouring book too :-)
I also take a bunch of 40 women on a Flourish Seaside Weekender every year.
It's empowering to get away from it all - and it's rewarding to see like-minded-ladies being themselves, enjoying themselves, giving themselves a break.
And that's where my latest project Climbing Trees sprang from – a clothing brand for girls which aims to give them more choice.
Because part of flourishing is living purposefully and authentically and being proud to be you.
And yet, whilst shopping for clothes for my then three-year-old daughter, we struggled to find clothes in the girls’ aisle featuring her favourite things. There were no dinosaurs, footballs, monsters or superheroes; no trucks, tractors or robots. Graphic clothes featuring those were still reserved for "Boys Only" and kept in the 'boys aisle'. And yet it is through these kind of graphic t-shirts that children express their love for something.
We were frustrated. And so, The Climbing Trees Project was launched three years later in 2015, by myself and my now six year old daughter, to give little girls more choice, empower them to be proud of who they are and also (while we were at it) encourage more active outdoor play.
We created a range of t-shirts and books along with a range of characters – The Climbing Trees Girls (Eva, Maxi and B) who love to climb trees, get muddy, build, skate, scoot and get active.
B said the t-shirts were EPIC. One of her favourite words.
And that gave me an idea: a way to communicate flourishing to older children and parents alike...
A framework for flourishing to enable parents to flourish; to become more positive, appreciative and resilient and enable their children to do so too.
EPIC CODE is a mnemonic of the words
These are the seeds to plant and water in order to live a flourishing life.
The Epic Code framework will be published in 2017.
I know what it’s like to suffer deep loss.
I know what it’s like to want to get your message out there.
I know what it’s like to want the best for your children.
And I would love to help you.
Whether you wish to author a book, learn how to flourish in life or business or teach your children how to flourish as they grow – I’d love to hear from you.